Rise in W.Kazakhstan deaths
Clashes in an oil region of western Kazakhstan has left 14 people dead according to a government official.
Violence erupted at the weekend after police officers fired at striking oil workers who had occupied the city square for six months demanding better salaries.
Kazakh authorities said that the police resorted to the use of force when protesters refused to withdraw from the railroad tracks, and became violent.
Sudan invites bids for oil blocks
Sudan will invite bids from firms to operate in six new oil and gas blocks early next year, according to a government official.
The Minister of Petroleum Awad Aljaz told reporters investors will be treated well as long as “they come without any strings or baggage.”
Sudan has been aiming to boost crude production since South Sudan split off in July under a 2005 peace deal, taking about three quarters of the formerly united country's roughly 500,000 barrels per day of oil output with it.
The bidding process will start on the 15th of January and the government aims to announce winners by May.
Sudan is largely reliant on petroleum earnings.
Guinea postpones elections indefinitely
Guinea has indefinitely postponed legislative elections initially set for December 29 to meet opposition demands for a role in planning the polls to prevent fraud, officials said.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) has also suspended its activity for two weeks, as demanded by the opposition, CENI said in a statement.
The west African country's opposition wants a role in the planning for the elections, accusing the government and CENI of setting the December 29 date without consultation and of planning to hold sham elections.
S.Korea urges compensation for WW2 prostitutes
South Korean President, Lee Myung-bak yesterday urged Japan to compensate Korean women who were forced to work as prostitutes by the Japanese military during World War Two. On a visit to Japan, the president pushed for a speedy resolution of the matter that is a longstanding sore point between the two countries.
Historians say that thousands of women, many of them from the Korean Peninsula occupied by Japanese troops, were forced to work as sex slaves during the war. Of all the women that have come forward, only 63 are still alive, and their average age is 86. Japanese PM Yoshihiko Noda said that a 1965 treaty that normalised relations between the two countries also ended all claims for compensation.
China: self-cleaning fabric breakthrough
Chinese researchers are on the verge of producing self-cleaning fabrics, according to a BBC news report.
Engineers at Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Hubei University for Nationalities in China have created a cheap, ecologically-friendly coating which they say causes cotton to clean itself of stains and odors when exposed to sunlight.
Their research was based on the use of titanium dioxide which already forms a part of compounds used to create self-cleaning windows, odour-free socks and stay-clean tiles
Clothing analysts suggest demand could come from warm, humid countries where there is an interest in functional clothing to cope with perspiration problems.
U.S study says 1/3 arrested by 23
A study in the United States has found that almost a third of Americans have been arrested by the age of 23. According to the study published in the journal, Pediatrics, 30.2 per cent of the 23-year-old participants had been arrested for an offence other than minor traffic violations. Researchers said it may be indicative of the justice system becoming more punitive and more aggressive in its reach during the last century. There has been an increase in arrests for drug related offences, and zero-tolerance policies in schools.